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Trump devotee Mastriano loses Pennsylvania governor’s race

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Former US president Donald Trump applauds Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano during a campaing rally in September 2022./AFP
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Nov 09, 2022 - 05:30 AM

NEW YORK — Donald Trump acolyte, 2020 election result denier and far-right Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano lost his bid to become the Republican governor of Pennsylvania, US media projected Tuesday.

Mastriano, 58, was one of the most polarizing candidates to receive Trump’s backing.

The retired military officer has been pictured with white supremacist groups and in Confederate uniform.

On the campaign trail he repeatedly insisted that the presidential election two years ago was stolen and endorsed the idea that state legislatures have the legal authority to override the popular vote.

Mastriano brought dozens of supporters with him to Washington for the January 6, 2021 protest against Joe Biden’s victory that turned into an insurrection — and was accused of crossing police lines during the violence.

He has talked dismissively of the “myth of the separation of church and state” and in 2019 starred in an independent film he helped fund set during World War II.

The movie cast evangelical Christians as members of a religious minority in Germany who were persecuted along with Jews, according to a recent New Yorker profile of Mastriano.

Mastriano plays an American military spy helping to evacuate them from the country and during one scene fights off a Nazi played by his son, the article said.

Mastriano has spoken at conferences that promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that Trump is fighting satanists and child sex traffickers in the Democratic Party, government and Hollywood.

Mastriano, who has served in the Pennsylvania senate since 2019, was poised to lose the governor’s race to Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro, NBC and Fox News projected.

Shapiro will succeed another Democrat, Tom Wolf, who has reached the state’s limit of two consecutive terms.

The 49-year-old Shapiro had led Mastriano in the polls in the runup to the vote.

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